Why job hunting is like booking a holiday

25 July 2017 -

Business HolidayA 1 or 5 star customer rating can be the the make or break moment for attracting new customers. Now, the trend for ratings has even extended to recruitment

Jermaine Haughton

From figuring out whether the new local restaurant is worth trying or weighing up which exotic location to spend your summer holidays, millions of British people will inform their decision-making with the help of reviews left by fellow customers online.

In today’s world of comparison sites, social media and online reviews, the thought and opinions of your target users are critical.

In the digital age, online reviews have largely taken word-of-mouth referrals to the next level. Any curious shopper can search for and read reviews of a specific product, rather than ask around all your friends in the hope that some may happen to have purchased that product so can offer advice.

In fact, as many as 85% of consumers will check ratings sites before deciding to buy a product, according to a report by feefo, with 75% of respondents saying good reviews would persuade them to buy a product, second only to an appealing discount or promotion (79%).

Amazon, Trip Advisor and eBay are among the leading pioneers of online reviewing culture, with some customers viewing consumer critiques as more valuable, transparent and trustworthy than traditional marketing methods. But in addition to preparing their business for online critique from customers, bosses are increasingly having to do similar for recruiting the best talent.

According to new research from global resourcing specialists BPS World, the trend for checking reviews before making significant purchases is filtering into the world of work. The survey found that job seekers are increasingly reliant on researching their potential employers online and keen to have a number of job offers on the table before making their decision.

More than three quarters of employees (79%) would be sure to check out an employer online before accepting a job offer, and 74% of employers doing the same when hiring someone. Facebook ranked the second most likely place a potential employee would look, ahead of both LinkedIn and Glassdoor.

Interestingly, this likelihood to extensively research potential employers seems to be a recently emerging trend, with 62% of employees admitting they didn’t check out their current employer online before accepting their job offer.

Simon Conington, BPS World’s founder, said job-hunters, like customers, are continually searching for authentic information regarding the job and type of employer they desire.

“These findings suggest that the open, consumer-led platform of Facebook is preferred for creating a truer picture of what the potential employer could be like, in a similar way to the ‘traveller’s own photos’ on Trip Advisor,” he said. “There is an honesty about what people share online that often isn’t reflected in the way a company presents its employer brand.”

The survey also found that employees like to have a shortlist of job offers rather than having to take whatever comes their way. Some 46% of those surveyed said they ‘shopped around’ and had between two and five options to consider before they accepted their current position, and most respondents said they’d like three potential roles to be on the table before making a decision.

While employees are increasingly becoming more picky on what employer they work for, the
research suggests that once they have made a decision, employees are likely to be loyal.

The average longest service at one employer was recorded at 7.26 years for the employees surveyed. When asked why they had stayed with the same employer for so long, almost half (47%) said they simply enjoyed their job, and over a third (38%) said it was because they were treated well and felt respected and valued.

Conington warned managers and bosses that they must be careful of how they are portrayed online.

“This research proves just how discerning both bosses doing the hiring, and those applying for jobs now are,” he said. “There’s greater competition for roles, which means employers can afford be choosy, and both groups are going online to find honest information that helps them make their decision.

“Both bosses and employees therefore need to think about how their company and themselves are talked about and presented online, and if there’s anything negative, controversial or inflammatory then they need to get it resolved or removed. Ignoring it could mean companies miss out on hiring a talented team member, or that an employee loses out on landing their dream job.”

Powered by Professional Manager